James Spann: Breezy, colder conditions in Alabama today

James Spann: Cold air invades Alabama, bringing a freeze Thursday morning from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

LATE-SEASON COLD SNAP: A dry cold front moved through north and central Alabama during the pre-dawn hours with gusty north winds; as a result, today will be noticeably cooler. Despite a good supply of sunshine, the high today will be only in the 50- to 55-degree range.

FREEZING TEMPERATURES: We project a low tomorrow morning in the low 30s; a north wind will persist that should prevent a widespread frost. The coldest morning should come early Friday when the wind goes calm; most communities will dip into the upper 20s across north and central Alabama, with potential for low to mid 20s across the colder pockets. Freezing temperatures are likely at daybreak Friday deep into south Alabama, with lots of frost.

The sky will be sunny tomorrow with a high in the low 50s; Friday will be another sunny day with a high between 62 and 65 degrees.

RAIN RETURNS OVER THE WEEKEND: Clouds increase Saturday with a high near 70 degrees. It still looks like most of the day will be dry, although a shower can’t be ruled out. Rain and thunderstorms are likely Saturday night into Sunday morning; for now it looks like the most widespread rain will come from about 7 p.m. Saturday through 9 a.m. Sunday. Clouds linger through Sunday afternoon, and the day will be cooler, with a high in the 50s in many areas and a cool north breeze.

There are still considerable differences in model output; the reliable European global model shows the surface low moving over the northern part of Alabama, meaning little risk of organized severe thunderstorms, and the Storm Prediction Center does not have any part of our state in a severe weather outlook. Rain amounts of around 1 inch are expected over the weekend.

NEXT WEEK: Much of the week looks dry with below-average temperatures; looks like we go below freezing again Wednesday and possibly Thursday morning.

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